Climb up Big Ben, and see the bell

Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, Westminster, London 51.500665 -0.124529
Dates & Time:
Guided tours at 9 AM, 11 AM and 2 PM (Mon-Fri); Extra tour at 4 PM (Mon-Fri, May-Sep only)
Tickets & Cost:
Free for UK residents only, but you need to write to your local MP for a ticket and undergo a security check (you may have to wait up to six months for a spot)
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Children under 11 are not permitted
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The following bus routes go near Big Ben: 11, 24, 148, 211
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The best London underground train station to visit Big Ben is Westminster
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Read The London Craig blog> Read Craig’s review  I’ve seen this view myself. Check out my London blog for a full review, with photos and a video.  Ask me a question about this event

Big Ben is probably the most famous landmark in London, but did you know that you can actually get permission to climb the clock tower? A tour will take you up all 334 steps to the belfry, where you'll stand ten feet away from the Big Ben bell as it strikes the hour (don't worry, earplugs are provided!).

You will also have an opportunity to visit the pendulum and mechanism, and stand behind all four of the giant clock faces as the experienced guide tells you about their history.

Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to get into Big Ben than it is to get into Parliament itself. You can't just turn up on the day and ask for a tour -- you have to jump through a few hoops first.

First of all, you have to be a UK resident, and you must obtain a ticket by writing to your local MP. (Work out who your MP is by looking here.) They will undertake a security check on your personal details before giving you a slot. You should be prepared for a long wait -- tours are often booked up 3 or 4 months in advance. You should also expect tight security on the day -- you will be expected to bring two forms of ID and have your photo taken. Photography will not be allowed inside the tower.

Craig has been on this tour himself and thoroughly recommends it. You might like to read his review before you go. You might like to combine the tour with a visit to the House of Commons as well, where you can watch the MPs debating. Or maybe you can come back at the weekend for a Saturday tour of Parliament, and see the rest of the building?

More events:
Big Ben events in London


Have you got a review?  Or a question about this event?

Admin – “Have a read of the review and it says how many steps you climb at each stage you dont have to climb the whole lot in one go, you do get some rest stops along the way.They're not particularly steep, from my memory they were no steeper than the kind of stairs you have at homeYou wont be given a limitless amount of time to climb them though, because he needs to get you up to the top to hear the bell strike the hour”

 Guest – “Hello again.Thank you ever so much for your reply, it's very helpful. I shall send a link to your blog to the WI ladies. Fab write up by the way.Thanks again.Mel”

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If you enjoy great views then you might like these other London events…

Westminster Cathedral’s bell tower – Every dayWestminster Cathedral's campanile is one of the city's best viewing platforms, rising 210 feet over the streets of Victoria.

Cable car across the River Thames – Every dayThis cable car offers fantastic views as it carries you across the Thames from The O2 to the ExCel Centre in 5 minutes.

Have a ride on the London Eye – Every dayEvery tourist should spend an hour riding the London Eye at the start of their break, as it gives a great overview of the city.

Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral – Monday to SaturdaySt Paul's Cathedal has got three domes that you can climb up -- the Whispering Gallery, Stone Gallery and Golden Gallery.

Climb to the top of The Monument – Every dayThe Monument to the Great Fire of London has a balcony at the top, which gives tourists some decent views of The City.

The Shard — for fantastic views of London – Every dayEnjoy the stunning views from the top of The Shard -- London's tallest skyscraper -- more than 1000-feet above the city.

See the view from the top of Wellington Arch – Every dayThe balconies on Wellington Arch have views of Constitution Hill, Apsley House and part of Buckingham Palace's gardens.

Climb to the platform at the top of The O2 – Every day (except Mon-Thu in Jan-Feb)Climb up The O2's roof and enjoy a spectacular 360 degree view of the London skyline from the viewing platform at the top.

Listen to MPs in the Houses of Commons – 5th January to 16th December 2016Visitors can enter the Houses of Parliament for free, and watch MPs debating in the House of Lords and House of Commons.

If you like Big Ben, then you might also like…

> Parliament Square events If you like the Big Ben then you might like these events at London’s Parliament Square as well
> Houses of Parliament events If you can’t find any events at the Big Ben then maybe you can try the Houses of Parliament in London
> Westminster events If you like this event at the Big Ben then try our guide to events at the Westminster in London

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